Wondering where to go for an action-packed caravanning break? Well, I reckon Cornwall is hard to beat.
Of course the activity that springs to mind at the mention of Cornwall is surfing. And just down the lane from the Club’s Godrevy Park site you’ll find the excellent Gwithian Academy of Surfing, on the beach beside the Sandsifter.
If you’ve never caught a wave before this is where to start. It’s a beautiful spot, the dune-backed beach stretching four miles from Godrevy Point to the Hayle Estuary. On top of that, the academy offers teaching for all levels.
A two-hour lesson is recommended for learning the basics – that should be enough to get you standing on the board in medium surf. The first half-hour is spent on the shore dealing with issues such as safety and ‘self rescue’. Then you spend half an hour bodyboarding putting it all into practice.
The second half of the lesson starts on the beach again, learning how to get from lying on the board to standing – in the blink of an eye! Not only must it be done quickly, but you must be correctly positioned on the board to maintain balance.
Unsuprisingly you’ll spend a lot of time hauling yourself onto the board for the paddle back out through the surf. Hence a second lesson is a good idea so you can get to grips with controlling the board.
It’s very physical, so you need to be fit and able to swim 50m. Lessons are held twice daily from April to October, subject to conditions, with prices starting at £30 per session, including use of board and wetsuit. However, the more lessons you book, the cheaper it works out. For example, a two-day special, with four two-hour lessons, cost £85.
Caravan Club Magazine 12/08/2011
Start the day at one of Cornwall’s best surfing beaches. Godrevy is nestled at the head of a four-mile, dune backed sandy crescent that stretches south towards St Ives. With quality peaks to surf along its length and plenty of room to spread out, everyone can enjoy their fill of waves, sometimes sharing the line-up with a pod of dolphins. It serves up a variety of conditions ideal for all comers; the exposed northern end hoovers up swell while the southern reaches generally offer smaller waves. Gwithian Academy of Surfing, run by former competitive surfer Tyson Greenaway, offers surfing lessons, coaching and equipment hire.
Saturday Telegraph Magazine 25/07/2011
Through the windows of the Tate can be seen the other side of local culture – surfers, bobbing like black seals in the white water. It had to be done – so off we went to GAS, the Gwithian Academy of Surfing. Equipped with wetsuits and boards, we followed our instructor Chris down to the beach to be confronted by some large waves.
But as anyone who has ever tried it will tell you, surfing is totally addictive once you’re in the water. It’s surprisingly easy to get going, given the right conditions and a bit of sensible instruction.
The twins wanted more the next day and so did I….
Sunday Telegraph Travel Supplement 08/08/2010
Don’t try to teach yourself – even a two hour lesson will set you up with the core surfing skills for life. I learnt to surf at Godrevy Beach, near Hayle, in Cornwall and that’s a star place for novices. It’s an immense sweep of sand with a lighthouse on the point and a resident seal colony. They often swim around your board. The lighthouse end is great for learners, the other is for savvy surfers – really good barrels roll in off the sandbank there.
Sunday Times Travel Supplement 06/06/2010
Robyn recommends the Gwithian Academy of Surfing which has lessons from £30 and flats from £69 per night.
Robyn Davies, Five time British surfing champion & surf project co-ordinator for National Trust